ONE | system
Oren Aharoni (Itzik Blanitsky)
Bnei Herzliya landed today (Tuesday) in Vilnius and began its preparations for the fifth round of the Champions League which will be held tomorrow. The weather in the city on the day of the game is expected to be minus 11 degrees and the team equipped the players with warm clothes for the trip. Herzliya comes to the game after beating Maccabi Tel Aviv 93:98 this week.
team coach, Oren Aharoni, said before the game: “We have reached one of the peak moments of the season – a battle for promotion to the next stage in the Champions League. We were drawn to one of the hardest houses in the factory, but we managed to reach a situation where we depend on ourselves and can finish in the first three places and advance to the next level. Ritas is a high-quality and strong team, with a very homely hall, but we have already shown this year that when we are in full formation, we have the ability to present high-level basketball and compete against any team.”
The situation at home: Tenerife is ranked first with three wins and a loss, Peristri Veritas Vilna with a record of two wins and two losses and Herzliya with one win and three losses, but the Israeli cup holder is the only one that has already played twice against Tenerife.
A victory tomorrow against Ritas will put Herzliya with a leg and a half in the next stage at the expense of the Lithuanian champions, and if they lose to Herzliya they will have to beat Tenerife in the final round in order to keep chances for the next stage. Herzliya will be able to finish the home game in second place and enjoy a home advantage in the play-in stage if Peristri loses to Tenerife this week and Herzliya beats Ritas and Peristri in the final round.
In a situation where Herzliya loses to Vilnius and Tenerife wins over Peristri in the corresponding match, Herzliya can still advance to the next stage at the expense of Peristri, if they beat them in Israel in the final round by 16 points or more.
In the previous game between the teams held at the Enerbox Hall in Hadera, Herzliya won 85:90 after coming back from an early deficit of 17 points (31:14). Three players of the Israeli team scored 20 points or more: Gamble 24, Kemp 23 and Babb 20.
Since the loss to Herzliya, Ritas recorded two consecutive victories in the factory, both over Priestri of Athens, Greece. The leading player of the Lithuanian champions is former Hapoel Holon, Marcus Foster, who was chosen as the player of the month for November in the Champions League.